How to apply for arcs

Getting started

One of the first things to know is that when you’re first starting out it can be difficult to get ARCs at first, but have no fear!

Decide where you want to review — are you going to review on Goodreads/Storygraph? Are you going to review on instagram? Or your own blog? No matter what you decide, make sure you consistently link to those outlets.

Once you’ve decided these things, you can go ahead and start applying for ARCs.

Places to get arcs

There are a fair few places to get ARCs, and I will walk you through some of the ones I use.

  • NetGalley – probably the most common place to get ARCs from traditional publishers is NetGalley. You create your account, and add your info. Then you can request whatever ARCs you’d like. There are some that are “Read Now” and you will immediately have access to those.
  • Storygram Tours – One of my favorite places to do book tours through! You sign up for a tour and you’re either sent a physical book/arc or an e-book/e-arc to read/review for a promo or a review post! While there are some specifications, I’d go ahead and try them out. Storygram does mostly traditionally published books. Not only do they have YA books and adult books, they also offer children’s and middle grade as well.
  • MTMC Tours – another fabulous book tour company! They offer tours for both indie and other publishing books as well. They have a nice variety. While many if not most of their tours are in e-book/e-arc format, they offer a huge variety of tours.
  • BOMM – another very solid tour company, and one I have been working with since I was a baby bookstagtrammer. They are ones I would definitely start out with. They do indie titles for the most part but are super organized and always send out large lists of upcoming tours regularly.
  • PaperMyths – Mostly focused on fantasy books, they’re another tour company that seems to work with smaller accounts.
  • The Nerd Fam – All indie books all day long! Lots of fun to request from them. You can occasionally get a physical arc/PR box or book, but they mostly do e-arcs.
  • TBR and Beyond Tours – mostly focused on YA books, but also middle grade and some new adult. I worked with them a lot as a baby bookstagram account and I have nothing but good things to say about them.
  • Directly from the publisher – you can also request ARCs directly from the publisher, and I will expand on that more in the next section.

Working with Publishers

Working with publishers is an amazing experience, and each one is totally different. The only way to know if you’re going to get an ARC is to reach out and ask! You may not get a response, but you may also get some surprise mail on your doorstep (or in your mailbox).

Publishers often have influencer lists and you can request to be added to any of them! Sometimes they may deny you. And if you don’t want to be added to the seasonal catalog (or whatever the publisher may call it) you can often e-mail the publicity emails and request it. They normally have e-mails or forms listed on a contact page for this purpose. Even if you happen to email the wrong person, they can usually direct you to the right person.

So what do you put in an email to the publisher?

What information to provide

I have a template that I use and send when I want to request a specific title. Here are some of the pieces of information I include:

  • Name
  • Why I’m requesting an arc (have I read the author before, is it a genre that I love? What about it made me want to request this particular arc?)
  • Any relevant statistics, such as: follower count, reach, engagement, any helpful numbers
  • Links to where I post reviews and/or promos. Sometimes I include what I post on them.
  • My physical address! (in case they decide to send something)

I include this same information (aside from my physical address) on my Netgalley profile as well.

What to do when you’re (inevitably) declined for an arc

You don’t give up! For years I was consistently declined for bigger titles, and in the past year or so I’ve been getting accepted more than declined. You being declined is not a slight against you, there are so many reasons that you may be declined. I know, it still hurts. But it usually isn’t you.

Don’t get disheartened by it, just keep going! Show your passion for the books you can leave reviews for, whether they’re books you purchased or library books! Again, consistency and passion are key in this. Publishers like to see your enthusiasm for their titles.

Last Things

Make sure you keep all of your information updated, and make it EASY TO FIND. Sometimes authors may reach out directly!

What else would you like to know? What questions do you have?